If you open a website and offer unsigned artists a release form to provide you with any tracks you air, then you are not liable to any fines by recording companies, RIAA or soundexchange.
I can provide you with an example of a release form I use...
Yes the RIAA cannot chase you for royalties of unsigned bands. But you should ensure as best as possible that the person uploading the song is actually associated with the band and if in the event it was not be ready and willing to take it down if the band so requests.
You should also incorporate the rights of distribution into your sites TOS and make sure someone has at least seen it before the upload can take place (have a check box or something like that to confirm they have read it).
Also try and keep a log of when things were uploaded and by whom, If for example a band uploads a song and they get signed shortly after you may find that song being used on 1 of their releases. The record company could become over zealous and claim it has been uploaded since they were signed and that you are infringing copyright. If you have proof of when and by whom it was uploaded you can stop that happening...
You might be delving a little too far into the rights of the unsigned artists, but quite a few sites like this exist already:.
Just so I get this straight, you want to have a file sharing site where you automatically own all the rights of the artisits material??? That's a little harsh and only artists who didn't read the fine print would upload thier songs there...
Having it in the TOS would be as good as useless, it would have to be a leagally binding contract. Having someone who ownes all the rights to another persons song isn't a good idea, why would I upload my song and give you full rights to it? Why would you do for me? Would promote it? Would you get me gigs? Would you pay me for people downloading my track?..
A TOS can be legally binding. Also you are not making them hand over the rights to the song, you are just asking for right to distribute the song, they still own everything regarding the song. If you do not get permission to do this then you have no right to offer it for download regardless of wether they uploaded it or not...
Read this again.. I know I had to several times...
"Is it possible to write some kind of TOS so that we get full rights of the track they upload? and that after they have been signed to a record label they can not have that song in the album of the contract they have signed with the record label?"..
Hmm sorry yes you are right must have not read it right first time got the wrong gist of what he wanted...
The band would have to enter into an agreement/contact with your company to distribute the material uploaded, whether they become signed or not.
Of course once signed you wouldn't be able to offer new content and only the songs uploaded before they were signed, but as long as you have that contract you should be okay. You will need a way to get proof that the person is actually associated with the band though. I could just go to the site and say i'm the red hot chillipeppers and upload loads of their music.
Check out how other sites posted above do it...
Let me get this straight.
You want people to give you their music for free when they upload their songs to your site. The act of uploading is the same as the act of transferring ownership, including royalties to you, binding by your TOC without the use of a legal contract.
That's crazy and unethical. It's a total scam. Who would spend a couple months working on some tracks just to give them to you? If you want unsigned artists to give you their music, start an Internet Record Label and pay them for their work.
Besides that, let's be quite realistic, unless you have a lot of money, there isn't going to be anything you can do against a company like Sony Music or Warner Brothers. No matter what you do or say, no matter how good your TOC is, no matter what people may tell you, in the end, the people who can afford the best lawyers are going to win...
Thankyou very much for everyones reply. REP added to everyone. Where in my post did it say that? I just gave a little concept for my little idea. It did not say anything about them giving the songs to me for free. I have not told you the exact features of my idea so please do not accuse it of being crazy, unethical and a scam. I did not say I am going to write a TOS making them giving me full rights to there song, I asked if it is possible.
Sorry for not being clear about this.
I want them to be able to upload there tracks onto my website, we promote the tracks and sell it for them and get a little commision.
Rights for getting full rights over the song sounds a bit too crazy now...
Actually, it sounded crazy before too.
G/l on your venture..